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Unemployed Persons

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list in the Official Report the six social security offices in Northern Ireland where unemployment benefit is being paid fortnightly, and show the numbers signing on the unemployed register for the last four weeks of weekly payment of unemployment benefit and the number since, to the latest available date, and also indicate the percentage change.

The six social security offices in Northern Ireland where unemployment benefit is being paid fortnightly, on a pilot basis, are Kilkeel, Lisburn, Londonderry, Newtonabbey, Omagh and Shaftesbury Square, Belfast.Information about the numbers signing on in recent weeks is given below:

Weekly Attendance and Payment Arrangements Only
Weeks endingNos. signing Register
10 January12,084
17 January12,025
24 January12,113
31 January12,031
Fortnightly Attendance and Payment Arrangements
Weeks endingNos. signing Register
7 February12,017
14 February12,098
21 February12,193
28 February12,185
6 March12,249
About 91 per cent. of claimants are taking advantage of the new arrangements. The rise in the numbers of persons signing the unemployment register is attributable to the rise in unemployment in Northern Ireland between January (66,182) and February (66,935).